- Written by mother (P.C.) and daughter (Kristin)
- Series: House of Night (11 novels)
- Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
- Published: October 28th, 2007
- Pages in Print: 306
- Followed by: Betrayed
- Series finale, Revealed, is set to come out October 15th, 2013
- Quote: “- darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good”. —Source
- Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
Enter the dark, magical world of the House of Night, a world very much like our own, except here vampyres have always existed. Sixteen-year-old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledging vampyre and joins the House of Night, a school where she will train to become an adult vampyre. That is, if she makes it through the Change– and not all those who are Marked do. It sucks to begin a new life, especially away from her friends, and on top of that, Zoey is no average fledging. She has been chosen as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Zoey discovers she has amazing powers, but along with her powers come bloodlust and an unfortunate ability to Imprint her human ex-boyfriend. To add to her stress, she is not the only fledging at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters , the school’s most elite group, is missing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny– with a little help from her new vampyre friends. —Source
Review of the Characters
Zoey Redbird– The protagonist of the novel. The authors wanted to portray Zoey as a ‘real’ teenager (I’ll go into that later) who at the same time must learn to be a vampyre that for some reason is chosen by the Goddess Nyx to be some sort of prodigy. Within the first few chapters I was resigned to the fact that I could not like Zoey. She was very hypocritical in the way she would insult Aphrodite (the ‘mean girl’) for being judgemental and then turn around and judge each and every person she met. I could forgive even this character flaw if she had been more relatable, but I could not connect to this character no matter how much I tried (and I tried). I understand that her whole life has been turned upside down but even in her best moments there was no warmth, just an artificial substitute.
Aphrodite– She was the stereotypical mean girl who Hollywood loves to over exaggerate with her narrow-mindedness and vanity, except written trashier. (Excuse my language). I know girls are mean creatures and can do some cruel things but there’s always a reason why. It was as if the authors just needed an antagonist to move the story forward and so built a blonde beautiful robot and programmed her to say (and do) nasty things. There was zero depth. I’ve always believed that a mark of a good author is to make the antagonist relatable, sadly that is not the case with this novel.
Stevie Rae– The protagonist’s best friend, I felt the same thing that happened to Aphrodite also was the case with Stevie Rae. The authors needed a best friend to move the story forward so they created a non-trashy blonde robot to say all the right things and made her a country gal so they could say she has a personality. It comes off as fake, fake, fake. (And it doesn’t get better from here).
Neferet– The high priestess who’s only purpose in the novel is to exclaim how special Zoey is every 10 pages. It’s very obvious that she is tied into the mystery in the novel but is (like every other character) devoid of any true personality. She doesn’t seem real or alive as the reader struggles to connect with her. What’s disappointing is Neferet had the potential to become quite a cool character (think a cross between Professor McGonagall and Katniss) but instead just fell flat.
Erik Night– Black haired and blue-eyed, I thought I would love him immediately (yes I’m aware that makes me sound shallow) but he just seemed fishy to me. He was only there to comfort Zoey when she was conveniently alone and my gut says not to trust him. Plus, I hate the whole “they locked eyes and instantly had a connection” thing, it’s just not realistic and it’s an easy way of writing. Simply put, Erik did not live up to his black-haired, blue-eyedness, that’s for sure.
Review on the Story:
Sad to say the story was as empty of life as the characters. The authors had a good idea, vampyre finishing school (an over done idea, but still good) but it lacked luster. First of all the novel takes course over two days and we touch the surface on many aspects of the House of Night world, but we never go deeper. The part I was intrigued about was the mystery of the abnormal creatures but there was only TWO references on the matter. When I read the ending I became confused at the lack of climax and resolution and so went back and realized that what I thought was a weak moment was supposed to be a climax and there was no true resolution. Instead the authors leave us on a bizarre cliff hanger which comes off as a cheap trick to get readers to buy the next book. (I was furious).
Review on the Writing:
(Now I’ll go into more of that ‘real’ teenager stuff). It was hard to tell if the writing of the novel was good or not because the authors insisted on making Zoey Redbird sound like a ‘real’ teenager. This consisted of many incomplete sentences, a lot of “whatever”s, and too many “Well, Hell”s. It was offensive. They took the stereotypical teenager created by Hollywood and exaggerated even further out of proportion so that the book came off as crude and fake. I was a teenager fairly recently (3 years ago) and we do not talk like that. I promise the average teenager is more than capable of making complete sentences and can go ten seconds without thinking of sex. (At least, females can).
There is one more thing that has to be said; I have no idea how this novel can be marketed in the young adult genre with all the adult references. Now I know things can get heated in young adult novels and there are references to sex but it seemed there was always a line you did not cross. (Young people, shield your eyes from the next part). This novel frequently mentions blow jobs, clit piercings and much more. I don’t mean to sound like a prude at the ripe old age of 21 but it was gross to read because of the fact that we were talking about teenagers engaging in these acts. I guess if it had helped move the story forward it would have been maybe (not really) okay but all it did was make the story barely readable.
I picked up this novel because it was sitting on my sister’s shelf unread. I hate seeing books unread so I immediately grabbed the novel to fulfill its purpose. Lets just say, I’m glad my sister did not read it.
I did not enjoy this novel. I finished because I absolutely hate not finishing a novel but that’s the only reason. The novel simply lacked life; everything comes off as artificial and crude. Out of 306 pages it was 202 pages of offensive stereotypical teenager exaggerations, 100 pages of skimming (like a fast forward button) through Zoey’s new world, and 4 pages of the mystery that was the ONLY interesting part. I have no idea how the authors have made eleven novels in the series consisting only of “Well, Hell”s and “Whatever”s but I guess if you like that kind of thing this is the novel for you. I was offended by the novel and will not be completing the series.
P.S.- My next read is Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (please let it be good).